Sunday, 30 November 2008

Rico Tice on Zion's Christian Soldiers

“Reading this book was a huge shock to me, and not a pleasant one. I had no idea that the biblical hermeneutics on the word ‘Israel’ had such extraordinary implications. So how we interpret the Scripture in terms of that one word ‘Israel’ really does seem, in some circles — to quote Stephen Sizer — to ‘justify a pre-emptive global war against the “axis of evil”‘ (page 19).

I almost felt like a man who discovers a lump under his arm and then finds on examination that it is malignant and life-threatening. But you must do the reading for yourself. It is too important to leave to second-hand opinion. How is this word ‘Israel’ used in the Bible, and what implications does that have for our fragile world?"

Rico Tice, Associate Minister, All Soul’s Church, Langham Place (author of Christianity Explored & Song of a Stranger: Daniel)

The Audio Book with Seminar Notes
You can listen to or read six presentations based on the chapters of the book as well as print outlines useful for personal and group Bible study.



1. For the Love of Zion: The Bible tells them so
2. Israel and the Church: Who are God’s chosen people?
3. The Promised Land: From the Nile to the Euphrates?
4. Battle for Jerusalem: The Eternal Capital of the Jews?
5. The Coming Last Day’s Temple: Ready to Rebuild?
6. Overture to Armageddon: Want to be left behind?

The Episcopal Church is Imploding

David Virtue writes, "The Episcopal Church is imploding as dioceses, cathedrals and parishes face huge financial losses as the stock market reels and aging parishioners on fixed incomes rein in their giving. Large well-heeled cardinal parishes have taken tens of thousands of parishioners and their money with them to orthodox Anglican jurisdictions leaving liberal dioceses scrambling for money. At least two dioceses are living mainly on endowments.

It was recently revealed that the Episcopal Church's endowment funds have decreased by 30 percent this year. Treasurer Kurt Barnes told the Executive Council recently that every 5 percent decline in the value of the church's endowments equals $87,000 less revenue for the budget. Ironically, as the overall budget of TEC sinks, millions of dollars in legal fees are being spent to keep parish properties. To date, that figure is $2 million, but it is expected to rise to more than $5 million with coast- to- coast lawsuits in several dioceses."

Read more here

While we must not rejoice in unrighteousness (1 Corinthians 13:6), it does indeed seem that the "wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23) whether it be an individual or denomination.

The Most Anti-American Nation


The Pew Research Centre recently undertook a poll of nationalities to identify the most anti-American nation. Iraq? No. Afghanistan? No. North Korea? No. Iran? No. Pakistan? No. Surprise, surprise, the country where the population is most anti-American is a Western democracy - Turkey. According to the Pew Research Centre, only 12% of Turks like the United States, fewer than every other country in the world - and this despite massive US financial support to Turkey and a close relationship between Turkey and Israel, America's other ally bordering the Middle East. Jordan came next at 19%, with Egypt at 22%, both allies receiving funding from the USA and having peace agreements with Israel.

Soner Cagaptay, writing in Newsweek, says "Dear President-Elect Obama: As you take office, I am enthusiastically watching your desire to win hearts and minds around the world. But I am concerned in particular about Turkey. This nation is the embodiment of what the United States and the West want to achieve around the world. It is predominantly Muslim, yet Western and democratic. But the Turks are vehemently anti-American, so much so that they consistently rank in polls as the most anti-American country in the world. According to the Pew Center's latest poll, only 12 percent of the Turks like the United States—fewer, even, than the percentage of Pakistanis. Obamania in Turkey will help you change America's image, but given the dismal numbers, I am afraid that might not be enough. Despite the close cooperation with the United States on Iraq, Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has taken the easy way, bashing America at home in an attempt to boost its own popularity. But you should not ignore Turkey. Because of its strategic location, Turkey is a key partner to the United States in tackling many foreign-policy challenges. You will need Turkish support and the Turkish base at Incirlik to achieve many of your goals, such as withdrawing troops from Iraq."

The Newsweek article here
The Pew Research Centre Report here

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Beth Rowley: Gospel Truth


Beth Rowley stole the show at Greenbelt this year.

Nick Duerden, writing in the Independent tells her story, "Before relocating to their native Bristol in 1982, Beth Rowley's family had spent much of the 1970s in Peru's shanty towns carrying out the Lord's work.

"They were missionaries working in churches in Lima, Machu Picchu and Cuzco," the 26-year-old says, "living in shacks they shared with chickens and precious little electricity. It was very basic. My father was a preacher in Baptist churches, while my mother promoted health care at a succession of Women's Institutes. They say they had an amazing time; I've seen the photographs, and it really does look incredible. It's funny to think of my my parents having this terrifically exotic life that happened pretty much before I was born."

They returned to the UK when Rowley was just two years old, "and so all I remember is Bristol, unfortunately." Ask whether her parents' do-gooding zeal, prompted by their deep faith in God, subsequently inspired her to become a gospel singer, and she will screw up her nose and shake her head, as if fearful of being tagged a female Cliff Richard.

"Not really. By the time they came back to this country, my father wanted a change of career," she says. "He still preached from time to time, but he started working as an electrician, then a financial adviser. We'd go to church on Sundays because it was what we always did, but they are very laidback, my parents, and when I stopped going during my teenage years, they were perfectly cool with it. My faith is always there, somewhere in the background, but I'd say the biggest influence religion has had in my life is getting me seriously into gospel singers like Mahalia Jackson. I've read a lot about Mahalia. It sounds like she was on a mission with her music. I like to think I am too." Read more


Her website is here

More photos of Beth at Greenbelt here

Friday, 28 November 2008

Beautiful InterVarsity Advent Calendar

All I want for Christmas is my D3X

The only thing on my list for Father Christmas this year (and for ever and ever I promise) is one of these:

Its the new Nikon D3X 24.5 megapixel flagship which takes the DSLR into medium-format territory.

Featured in this month's Nikon Pro magazine and now on Nikon's website. Out by Christmas we hope. I would even give up hope of owning an Audi TT for one of these, well... maybe.

To view what you can do with the D3X's little brother, the D300, see here

Rick Warren and Reader's Digest team up for new network



At Christ Church we have benefited enormously from Rick Warren's ministry - myself probably more than any one else. His book, the Purpose Driven Life has been the most popular book sold in our bookstore. You can read or listen to a recent sermon series based on the book here:

40 Days of Purpose

What drives your life? : Ephesians 1:1-14
What on earth am I here for?
You were planned for God's pleasure
You were formed for God's family
You were created to become like Christ
You were made for a mission
Living with Purpose : Ephesians 6:10-18

Now Rick Warren has teamed up with Reader's Digest to produce a new quarterly journal.

Michelle Vu writes, "One of America’s best known pastors, Rick Warren of The Purpose Driven Life, has teamed up with publishing powerhouse Reader’s Digest to develop a multi-platform network that will train and connect millions of people worldwide who have found the best-selling book helpful and want more biblically-based advice on life.

“Since the book was published, we’ve received hundreds of thousands of requests from readers asking for more help,” said Warren, founder of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California and the 162-nation Purpose Driven network of churches, in a statement this week.

To respond to the requests, Warren reached out to Reader’s Digest Association, which publishes in 79 countries, and asked if it could help publish the content of his new network, the Purpose Driven Connection, in a variety of high-tech and high-touch formats worldwide.

“We stopped several successful projects a couple of years ago to start preparing for this,” Warren said Monday, noting that planning and preparation took three years. “We’re thrilled to finally get to talk about it prior to the launch early next year. It is unlike anything else and has the potential to change hundreds of millions of lives.”

Three formats for the Purpose Driven Connection have been announced so far, and are slated to be introduced early 2009. They include a quarterly magazine titled, “Purpose Driven Connection”, small group multimedia materials for a national “40 Days of Love” emphasis, and a state-of-the-art Purpose Driven Connection social networking website.

Warren, who will be at the helm of all the platforms serving as editor-in-chief, anticipates more than a dozen formats emerging as the community grows and connects. Yet despite his large investment of time and effort into the project, Warren will not receive any money for his work.

“This is a labour of love,” Warren explains. “We want to help pastors help everyone else.”

The “Purpose Driven Connection” magazine will serve as the main platform in which all the other formats will connect. The magazine will feature stories of everyday people living out God’s purpose and making a difference with their lives.

For its premier issue, the magazine will feature some of the best-known Christian authors, including Tim Keller, Max Lucado, Bill Hybels, Anne Graham Lotz, Chip Ingram, Lee Strobel and Kay Warren.

Also included in the first issue are excerpts from Warren’s personal interview with president-elect Barack Obama at the Saddleback Civil Forum in August.

Practical steps for growth and opportunities for service and mission will also accompany the articles and encourage readers to participate in opportunities using the related Web site.

"It is rare indeed to be able to call something 'revolutionary' in our highly-developed world," said Mark Affleck, executive director of Purpose Driven Connection. "This is just that - an entirely new and never-before-seen model for how people can not only discover their purpose in life, but to also interact with others through the online community, small group network and the global PEACE initiative."

Saddleback Church’s PEACE Plan, developed by Warren, is an initiative to mobilise millions of Christians to fight the five global giants: spiritual emptiness, self-centered leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease and illiteracy/education.

On a whole, the Purpose Driven Connection platforms will all be “purpose driven”, designed to reinforce the five purposes Jesus identified in the Great Commandment and Great Commission: Knowing Christ, Relating to His family, Growing in Christ, Serving Christ, and Sharing Christ.

The Great Commandments corresponds to the five biblical purposes of worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and missions as discussed in Warren’s books The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church.

“We are excited about this new partnership and its unprecedented potential for exponential impact, especially in the 68 countries where local churches have launched the PEACE plan,” Warren said.

Reader’s Digest Association’s Alyce Alston, president of RDA’s Home & Garden and Health & Wellness affinities, calls the project with Saddleback one of the company’s “most important and far-reaching ventures ever – spanning the globe with several of our core communication capabilities”.

“Together we are creating an authentic category-busting multimedia suite that will help millions of people in their daily lives - including those who already follow the purpose driven principles, as well as seekers everywhere looking for greater fulfillment," Alston said.

Since The Purpose Driven Life was released in 2002, it has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and has been read by 19 percent of Americans.

Source: Michelle A Vu, Christian Post

United Nations General Assembly President criticises Israel

Brockmann: Israeli policies ‘should not be allowed to continue’ Top UN official slams ‘Apartheid’ by Israel

United Nations General Assembly President says sanctions should be considered to pressure Israel. United Nations General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann said the international community should consider using boycotts, divestments or sanctions to pressure Israel to improve its treatment of the Palestinians, Democracy Now! reported Wednesday.

The Nicaraguan diplomat also compared the situation in Israel to South Africa two decades ago. “Although different, what is being done against the Palestinian people seems to me like a version of the hideous policy of Apartheid. That can not, should not, be allowed to continue,” said Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann’s comments came during a special meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon also criticized Israel for its blockade of Gaza. “I call for immediate measures to ease the near-blanket closure of Gaza which leads to worrying deprivations of basic supplies and human dignity, and I unreservedly condemn the rocket fire,” said Ban Ki-Moon. “The way forward is for all the parties to respect the calm brokered by Egypt and to reach out to the civilian population of the Gaza Strip instead of only punishing them,” he added.

Source: Democracy Now

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Professor Gilbert Bilezikian on Christian Zionism


On Christian Zionism

"I think your book is fantastic... I'm grateful for your advocacy of the Church as the Bride... This is a large book, as well it should be, since it addresses a large issue. At stake in the argument is the very definition of the identity of the Church. Some theologies, that make Israel central to the purposes of God and to the processes of history, reduce the Church to the status of concubine while Israel becomes the Bride. Sizer's work provides a timely reminder that, according to the New Testament, God's people is to be identified on the basis of grace, not of race."

On Zion's Christian Soldiers

“Thank God, here comes at last a book that challenges the pseudo-theology which, by giving precedence to the Old Covenant over the New, relegates the Church to the status of concubine in order to make Israel the Bride of Christ. In clear and measured terms, the author demonstrates from Scripture that God’s purposes for history are not driven by a narrowly selective racist obsession but rather by his eternal design to create the Church, the new community dearly secured through the cross for all Christ-followers, both Jews and Gentiles.” Gilbert Bilezikian

My Top 5 Books on Social Justice: Tony Campolo in Christianity Today


Rich Christians in An Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity Ron Sider
Continues to make the evangelical community aware of what the Bible says about our responsibilities to the poor, and calls Christians to do something about it.
Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon? Stephen Sizer
A comprehensive survey describing how Christians have embraced a theological perspective that has encouraged justice for Jews, but has also led to the oppression of Palestinian people and extreme hostility between Christians and Muslims worldwide
The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical Shane Claiborne
If you want to get a glimpse of what radical obedience looks like when lived out by a Red-Letter Christian, then this book is a must.
God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It Jim Wallis
A New York Times bestselling book offering an alternative to the polarizing politics promoted by many in the religious culture wars. Wallis helps us find unity with a politics that addresses the needs of the poor and oppressed.

The Prophets Abraham J Heschel

Provides rich insights from the Hebrew prophets as they empathized with the pathos that God shows upon seeing the oppression of the poor.

See Christianity Today

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

All Souls, Langham Place by Night




Click here to see more views All Souls, Langham Place and the West End by night.

Rico is marrying Lucy at All Souls Church on Saturday 20th December!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Church of England on course for a Split?

The Joint Standing Committee (JSC) of the Primates and Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) made up of Primates, bishops, and lay people from the various regions of the Anglican Communion are meeting this week at the Anglican Communion Office and Lambeth Palace in London. The official press release says "The group meets on a regular basis between official gatherings of their larger meetings. Elected from within their respective bodies, the JSC are focussing attention on the forthcoming meetings of the Primates, in February in Alexandria, Egypt, the ACC in Jamaica, in May and ongoing business." Which all sounds pretty innocuous doesn't it. Except when you see who is and is not attending the alarm bells start ringing...

"Those attending the meetings are: Mrs Phillipa Amable, Ghana (West Africa) Mrs Jolly Babirukamu, Uganda Mr Robert Fordham, Australia The Rt Revd Kumara Illangasinghe (Sir Lanka) Prof George Koshy (India, Vice-Chair) The Rt Revd John Paterson (Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Chair) The Lay Canon Elizabeth Paver (England) The Rt Revd James Tengatenga (Southern Malawi) Ms Nomfundo Walaza (Southern Africa) The Most Revd Phillip Aspinall (Australia) The Most Revd Barry Morgan (Wales) The Most Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori (TEC/USA) The Most Revd Rowan D Williams Archbishop of Canterbury. The Secretary General, the Revd Canon Kenneth Kearon and the Deputy Secretary the Revd Canon Gregory Cameron and the Lambeth Palace Chief of Staff, Chris Smith are in attendance as are other staff as required. Two members of the Primates Meeting group are absent, Uganda: The Most Revd Henry Orombi and Jerusalem and the Middle East: The Most Revd Mouneer Anis (Egypt)."

That last little detail is very telling. Now for the joined up writing bit. Ruth Gledhill, in the Times speculates on the real agenda for the meeting,

Senior bishops are now considering suspending the Latin American Province

A conservative province in the Anglican church faces “punishment” this week for offering a safe haven to conservatives.

Senior bishops and laity meeting in London are to consider suspending the Anglican church in South America for taking rebel US dioceses under its wing.

The move will bring the Anglican Communion closer to a formal split. Early next month, rebel conservatives are expected to finalise plans for a new Anglican province in the US, to sit as a parallel jurisdiction alongside the existing Episcopal Church.

Unless this new province is recognised as part of the Anglican family by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and the other 38 primates, it will in effect become a new Anglican church.

In a further indication that the liberals are winning the Anglican wars, The Episcopal Church of the US, which was suspended at a previous meeting, is expected to be welcomed back into the fold after sticking by its pledge not to consecrate any more gay bishops."

Source

So this is the real reason for the meeting. Katharine Jefferts Schori has come to London to get ++Rowan to give ++Venables the ecclesial red card for messing with her Province. Except that is going to back fire. As always the Liberals push too hard and too fast to get their own way. This time they will walk away with a diminishingly small piece of the Anglican cake, and if ++Rowan is wise, he will realise that, despite the smiles, he is better off with GAFCON than TEC.


Chaplain to Surrey County Council


Today I was chaplain to Surrey County Council. That meant driving the 23 miles to Kingston for 9:30am to meet with the chairman of the Surrey County Council, Mrs Angela Fraser. My principle responsibility was to open the Council meeting in prayer. There were about one hundred Councillors, mostly Conservative and Liberal Democrat as well as officials.

I began with a reading from the Scriptures (1 Timothy 2), prayed for the Councillors, then concluded with the Lord's Prayer. I sat through the morning's agenda before joining them for a delicous lunch. Here is the prayer I used, adapted from Frank Colquhoun,

"Almighty God, we pray for those who exercise authority in government, and especially for Surrey County Council. Grant that they may be upright in character and wise in judgement, seeking first and foremost the good of the community, not their own advantage; and so direct and strengthen them in their work and planning that they may further your will among us, for the glory of your name. Amen."

Bishop Riah on prospects for peace in the Middle East


The Right Revd Riah Hanna Abu El Assal, the retired Anglican bishop in Jerusalem, was interviewed on Sunday about the situation in the Middle East. He speaks candidly about the plight of the Christian community, especially in Iraq, and his hopes for peace under a new American President. You can listen to the interview here. Insisting there is nothing in the Bible about retiring, he prefers to describe the change as being 're-tyred' for further Christian service.

USA Asked Israel Not to Start Any Major Wars Until Obama Takes Office

Amid several bellicose comments about the possibility of an impending Israeli strike against Iran Israeli Defense Ministry officials say they have been contacted by US officials who have asked them to refrain from launching any attacks against Iran until after President-elect Barack Obama takes office in January. Likewise, the officials reportedly have cautioned Israel not to launch its long-reported ground invasion of the Gaza Strip until after the inauguration.

An Israeli attack on Iran would almost certainly be interpreted as an American attack, and would likely spark a broad war between Iran and the United States. That prospect, with less than two months before the administration change and President Bush keeping a close eye on his legacy, seems unappealing.

The Israeli military insists that, despite reports to the contrary, it has no intentions of launching a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip any time soon. On the other hand Israel’s elections are scheduled for early February, and with the hawkish opposition Likud Party leading in the polls the outgoing government might gamble on its ability to reap political advantage from a dramatic move on one or both fronts.

Source

Arab Peace Plan Explained in Hebrew Ads




The Palestinian Authority has placed a full-page advert in Israel's Hebrew newspapers to promote an Arab peace plan first proposed in 2002.

The Saudi-backed initiative offers Arab recognition of Israel in exchange for an end to Israel's occupation of land captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

It also proposes what it calls a just solution for Palestinian refugees.

The Israeli government has noted "positive aspects" in the plan but has not formally accepted it.

In a BBC interview coinciding with his presidential visit to the UK, Israeli President Shimon Peres praised the plan as a "sea-change" in Arab policy.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak meanwhile said it could "serve as the basis" for negotiations.

read more here

Sunday, 23 November 2008

John 15:1-17 "I am the Vine"


“Jacob came for a bride from his own people. He desired Rachel, but he did not get Rachel at first, but Leah. After he learned to love Leah as much as he did Rachel, he got Rachel as well. In the beginning Leah had all the babies, her womb was most fruitful. But then Rachel conceives. Israel shall be a fruitful vine. Jesus came for Israel. He wanted to marry Israel, but He did not get Israel. He ends up with the bride He did not desire at first, the Gentile church. After He learns to love the Gentile church, then He gets Israel. In the beginning, the church has all the babies. But in the end, Israel becomes a fruitful vine.” (Jacob Prasch).

What is the relationship between Israel and the Church? Does God have one ‘chosen people’ or two? What is the relationship between God and his people? Who is the fruitful vine?

These were the subjects addressed at a conference in Johannesburg, I attended earlier this month. It was sponsored by Messianic Good News, an organisation dedicated to take the good news of Jesus to Jewish people. It was a great encouragement to spend a week with Jews who love Jesus and who have a passion to make him known within the Jewish community. I hope we can build on this relationship and support their work in the future.

Following our day with Chawkat Moucarry looking at Islam earlier in the year, and with Juge Ram on Hinduism and Sikhism yesterday, I hope that early next year we can arrange a teaching day on Judaism and learn how to share our faith with Jewish people.

Please turn with me to John 15 and let us examine the meaning of this image of the vine and the branches. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1-2) Jesus makes three main assertions: God the Father is the Vineyard Owner. God the Son is the Vine. God’s People who remain and bear fruit are the Branches.

Read the rest of today's sermon here

GAFCON Jerusalem Videos



You can access the videos from the Jerusalem GAFCON conference here

GAFCON 2008: Highlights
Os Guiness - The Gospel and Secularism
Revd David Short - The Presence of God
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali - The Future of the Church of England
Vaughan Roberts - The King of God
A Jew and a Palestinian
Archbishop Greg Venables - The Final Sermon
The Jerusalem Declaration - Archbishop Henry Orombi

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Israel honours forgotten British spy


Its heartening to hear, albeit belatedly, stories such as this, of people who risked their lives to save others. How appropriate that their memory is honoured in this way.

"A British MI6 officer who saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust has been honoured by Israel. Frank Foley, who died in 1958, provided exit visas to enable up to 10,000 Jews to escape Nazi Germany before the outbreak of war. After lobbying from Britain, Israel's Holocaust Memorial Centre, Yad Vashem, has awarded him the same honour that was bestowed on the German hero, Oskar Schindler. Until remarkably recently, Captain Frank Foley was a forgotten hero.

In the late 1930s he was officially head of the passport control office at the British Embassy in Berlin but secretly he was the MI6 station head. He defied both the Nazis and UK policy to help thousands of Jews escape to Palestine. Capt Foley also sheltered Jews in his own home and managed to free some who had been sent to concentration camps. Blind eye Because he worked for British intelligence, his role was kept secret even after the war and was only exposed by a recent book.

His bravery came to light from information in a new book Foley: The Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews, by Michael Smith. Capt Foley is also thought to have turned a blind eye to Mossad's operations in the late 1930s to smuggle Jews to Palestine from Germany, despite it being in outright opposition to UK policy.

In a statement Yad Vashem said: "There is no doubt that Foley worked over and above and in many cases in contravention of regulations to provide visas to Jews wanting to immigrate to countries under the British mandate, including Israel. "He provided thousands of Jews trying to leave Germany with visas. Due to his actions he helped save many Jews as they were about to be arrested and sent to concentration camps, or even those who had already been sent to camps."

More here

Friday, 21 November 2008

Scholar Believes Christian Zionism to be Unbiblical



Broadcasting in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky


Radio Interview with Chad Bresson on WCDR 90.3 FM Cedarville Listen here

(Impact News) A European scholar believes Christian Zionism is a primary source of conflict in the Middle East.

Stephen Sizer is Vicar of Christ Church in VirginiaWater, Surrey, England. He told Impact News that Christian Zionism is the belief that Israel will play a part in end time events, and that God will bless those that bless Israel. Sizer said this belief is misguided.

Sizer said, "In law, the land belongs to the families who were born there. We would look forward to seeing Israel a multi-faced, multi-racial democratic society as we have in the U.K. and as you do in the States."

Sizer said the ultimate fulfillment of God's blessings is not found in Abraham or Israel.

Sizer said, "The promise that God made to Abraham three to four thousand years ago applied today, is rather tenuous, when the promises God made to us through Jesus have significance and relevance for everyone. God blesses and curses depending on how we respond to Jesus, not Israel."

Sizer said the Jews cannot hope to find peace in a parcel of land in the Middle East; rather, peace for all men can only be found in Jesus Christ.

Listen here

The Way Forward or The Ways Forward - Dr Michael Ovey


Presentation at NEAC 5 on November 15.

There’s an old theological principle that says the nature of the disease determines the nature of the remedy. So, if you think your headache is just a hangover, you’re content with 2 neurofen. If you think your headache is the result of the bricks falling on your head, you take more drastic action.

The reason why I adopt this tried and trusted picture is that we as evangelicals are not looking at just one way ahead. There are at least two, and they arise from very different conceptions of the disease that the Anglican Communion, and the Church of England itself faces. Which should we choose and why? This will, I think, determine everything else.

On the one hand, there is the way ahead implied by Lambeth, with a reliance on old remedies, notably the instruments of communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the ACC and so on. There may be various forms and various twiddles. But the twiddles, even the idea of covenant, insofar as it works through the instruments of communion, do not fundamentally alter the ways of dealing with our questions. Such variations arise from and use the existing structures, and rest, it seems to me, ultimately on the notion that the instruments of communion can provide ways of solving our problems, even if they have not done so so far. My fundamental misgiving about the covenant process is that it relies on flawed or limited mechanisms. This way forward rests on a pre-supposition about the nature of the underlying problem – that it is in principle addressable through these means. That is one way forward.

More here on Anglican Mainstream

Walid Shoebat Handler: “Send Us Money to Save Jews from Obama”


Palestinian Christian Zionist Walid Shoebat’s handler Keith Davies explains what the election of Obama means:

From: Shoebat.com
Date: Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 11:00 AM
Subject: America’s challenges and next move forward

…pure vitriolic anti semitism will return over the rights and saftey of Jews in America. This is the “change we can believe in” and it is coming quicker than any of you can imagine…America voted for the man who will probably cause the worst plight for the Jewish people since the Holocaust…

So what can we do? Davies has the answer: send him and Shoebat some cash:

Walid and the Walid Shoebat Foundation will fight against the coming storm. We need your help morally and physically, with the staging of events nationwide and financial donations, so we can protect America and Israel, speaking for freedom and the rights and values that all Americans, even the misguided ones who voted with their hearts and not their minds this time.

This is shameless. More Shoebat and Obama fun here.

More on this report here from Richard Bartholomew's Blog and here

"I am the Vine" John 15


Does God have one people or two? What is the relationship between Israel and the Church? Is John Wilkinson right when he says:

“ ... the Jewish nation as such is shunted to a siding until the times of the Gentiles run out, to allow the express train to pass, stopping here and there to pick up the Church, and then the Jewish nation will take her place on the main line of the Divine Plan, stop at all stations and take on the world.” (Israel my Glory, 1893, p.134).

Is Jacob Prasch correct to suggest that Jesus did not desire the Church as his bride.

"Jacob came for a bride from his own people. He desired Rachel, but he did not get Rachel at first, but Leah. After he learned to love Leah as much as he did Rachel, he got Rachel as well. In the beginning Leah had all the babies, her womb was most fruitful. But then Rachel conceives. Israel shall be a fruitful vine. Jesus came for Israel. He wanted to marry Israel, but He did not get Israel. He ends up with the bride He did not desire at first, the Gentile church. After He learns to love the Gentile church, then He gets Israel. In the beginning, the church has all the babies. But in the end, Israel becomes a fruitful vine." (Jacob Prasch).

Sunday morning we shall explore John 15 and find out what Jesus has to say. In case it is too far for you to come to Virginia Water, the text and audio will be on line later that day.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

A foot in many camps - a reply to Stephen Kuhrt


by Chris Sugden in the Church of England Newspaper November 21 2008

In his CEN article last week, Stephen Kuhrt argued that the 57 member CEEC is not representative because 28 members belong to what he defines as one, conservative, stream. Stephen argues, as does Graham Kings in a parallel article in the Church Times last week, that there are three streams in the Evangelical Constituency and any organization claiming to represent that constituency needs to reflect them in proportion.

PROPORTIONALITY

Arguments about proportionality encourage a particularly narrow view of ‘representation’. Like MPs and Bishops, CEEC members – drawn as Stephen’s piece shows from different types of ‘constituency’ – are there to represent the whole constituency. That should be common ground about how we understand the ‘Evangelical Constituency’ to be made up.

Stephen speaks of ‘three streams’: but why (only) three? How do we know their relative strengths? The usual way is by elections – to see which groups win support. Even accepting the argument for proportionality, applying it in the evangelical constituency is problematic. The categories overlap. Many, but not all, conservatives are charismatics. There are different kinds of charismatics and conservatives, just as there are different kinds of points of view in Fulcrum. Fuclrum itself illustrates the difficulty. Its strap-line refers to ‘The Evangelical Centre’. But what is the ‘centre’? Identifying the centre requires an agreed definition of the limits of the range – the meaning of ‘Evangelical’.

More...

Orthodox Canadian Anglicans Unite with US Anglicans in Endorsing New Province & Jerusalem Declaration


The emergence of a united Anglican Province of North America embracing both Canadian as well as American Anglicans drew a step closer last week when the Anglican Network in Canada inaugural Synod endorsed the Jerusalem Declaration.

The Anglican Network in Canada inaugural synod, held 13-15 Nov 2008 in Burlington, Ontario, unanimously approved the following motions (among others):

· THAT this Synod endorses the Jerusalem Declaration as exemplifying the tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican identity.

· THAT this Synod instructs the Board of Directors of the Anglican Network in Canada to obtain membership in the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans for this Church.

· That this Synod expresses its gratitude to the GAFCON Primates for their support, encouragement, sacrificial labour and fellowship in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

· That this Synod affirms the Jerusalem Declaration of the Global Anglican Future Conference and expresses its gratitude for the on going work of the Common Cause Partnership in the development of a North American Province and encourages the Moderator and the Board to work for the implementation of this Province at the earliest possible date.

Full information on the synod, including an address by Dr J I Packer, is available on our website:

Christian Zionism eBook


In conjunction with Presence.TV, my e-Book on Christian Zionism has been re-issued to accompany the six part DVD series published produced in Boston, USA. You can download a copy for free here

Could one-sided support by Christians for Israel end-up jeopardizing the security of America and Britain? Dr. Stephen Sizer, an English vicar and historian, offers a critical look at Christian Zionism among Evangelicals since the 1800s. Rather than roadblocks to peace, Sizer challenges these "true believers" to abandon their misguided zeal and embrace the biblical quest for peace and justice in the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is a great DVD series for personal or small group study. It contains 6 twenty-two minute lectures, covering the historical roots, theological background and adverse political consequences of evangelical support for Israel. Order this DVD today and we will send you FREE Dr. Sizer's e-book of his six lectures. This DVD also available in International PAL version.

More information on the DVD series

Theology of Misguided Millennialism

Presence Ministries is pleased to present Dr. Stephen Sizer, on the theology of Christian Zionism. This 3-part webcast was recorded live at Transmillennial® 2003, and is a series critiquing the Israel-centered theology of premillennialism and its ill-effects on the Middle East. Part Three was posted on Wednesday, July 30th.


History of Misguided Millennialism

Dr. Stephen Sizer offers the history of Christian Zionism and explains why it is a misguided millennialism. This webcast was recorded live at Transmillennial® 2003, and is a three part series critiquing one-sided support of Israel by End-Time Christians.